Driver’s Education and Obtaining a DEC

Taking Driver’s Education

When a student reaches the age of 14-1/2 (and not a day before) he is eligible to take driver’s education for a fee up to $65. (This class will cost more if taken from a private company.) This class, includes 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. In NC, a student under the age of 18 must take this class to get a learner’s permit and driver’s license. Contact the school district’s Driver’s Education Coordinator to arrange for classes. If you cannot find the number in the telephone book, call the local school board. In some areas homeschoolers have organized their own classes. Some districts also offer a proficiency test which can substitute for the classroom instruction. The coordinator can give you information on whether this test is offered in your area, and what the age requirements are.

Obtaining a Driver’s Eligibility Certificate (DEC)

In accordance with a law passed by the 1998 NC General Assembly, all homeschoolers under age 18 who wish to obtain and maintain a NC driver’s license or learner’s permit must obtain a Driver’s Eligibility Certificate (DEC) from the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE). The DEC must be signed by the chief administrator of the homeschool. It takes about one week to obtain this certificate and it expires after thirty (30) days.

Must Stay in School 

If your student wishes to drive, he must remain listed with DNPE after he turns 16. A homeschool enrolling only students who are age 16 or 17 may not request a DEC form until after the school’s currently valid Notice of Intent to Operate has been on file with DNPE for at least four calendar months.

More information may be obtained from DNPE at (919-733-4276) or on the DNPE website:

Additional Information

Transcript for DMV Learner’s Permit

Some homeschoolers use their homeschool transcript instead of the student’s Social Security card for an ID when they apply at DMV for a learners permit. The transcript must have the following information to be accepted by the DMV:

The transcript must include:

  • The homeschool name, address and telephone number
  • Social Security number of student
  • Titles of subjects completed by the student by school year (for each of those four years)
  • The numerical (or letter) grade and unit credit earned for each subject
  • Annual nationally standardized test scores
  • The month and year of high school graduation
  • Signature of the chief administrator and date of signature